62

Your question contains a lot of misconceptions. A cure is definitely possible A cure could be found, proved, and proved safe, more quickly than a vaccine People and firms that could be working on cures are choosing to work on vaccines None of these are correct. Most virus-caused diseases have no cure: colds, Zika, Dengue, and so on. A tiny handful have ...


48

The definition of mortality rate that you've given does not match any practical definition I'm familiar with.* When people talk about the mortality rate of a disease, what they usually mean is the case fatality rate or the death-to-case ratio, which is simply defined as Nd / Ni, where Nd is the number of deaths attributed to the disease over a given time ...


48

The MSDS linked to is for a product sold as a solution of 10% SM-102 in 90% chloroform. It's listed as "SM-102" because that's the interesting/useful thing that the company is selling. It's common for chemicals to be sold packaged with solvents to make a solution. Sometimes that solvent is just water, but if the product is not water-soluble in ...


35

People could develop antibodies from natural exposure to the virus. The vaccine is trying to cause antibodies to exist in more people (and/or more strongly) than would express them naturally, therefore a good comparison group is a sample taken randomly in the same way as those getting the vaccine: a placebo group. At the same time, these trials tend to ...


31

The seasonal coronaviruses attach exclusively to cells with a ciliated epithelium. Coronaviruses invade the respiratory tract via the nose. After an incubation period of about 3 days, they cause the symptoms of a common cold, including nasal obstruction, sneezing, runny nose, and occasionally cough (Figs. 60-1 and 60-2). The disease resolves in a few days, ...


23

Drugs are typically small molecules that interfere with some chemical process in the disease causing microbe, and therein lies the rub. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, worms, etc. are sustained by their own complex systems of chemical reactions, largely independent of chemical systems that sustain us. That makes it easier to find a chemical that attacks ...


21

The initial Russian announcement was bluster. From the NYT's vaccine tracker: On Aug. 11, President Vladimir V. Putin announced that a Russian health care regulator had approved the vaccine, renamed Sputnik V, before Phase 3 trials had even begun. Vaccine experts decried the move as risky, and Russia later walked back the announcement, saying that the ...


20

The equation you use for mortality is only really useful in the very long term for a known disease, when most cases have resolved. It's not very informative in the short-term, when the vast majority of total cases are neither deaths nor recoveries. Right now, the vast majority of people diagnosed have a mild illness and are very unlikely to die, but it ...


20

One of the primary purposes of corticosteroids is to suppress immune activity and inflammation: that's exactly why they are used in asthma. Of course the immune system has an actual job besides causing nuisance inflammation: fighting infection. For some infections, the harm to the infected person caused by the immune reaction itself is worse than that of ...


19

The only approved inhaled vaccine is the flu vaccine delivered intra-nasally. It uses a live attenuated virus. There are a whole list of people who should not receive it because it's a live virus, and it works better for children, but only is 40% effective for adults. The main issue is The intranasal LAIV, recommended for children above the age of 2 ...


17

From an Australian perspective Policy Restrictions The governemnt, especially at a state level, is willing to halt the entire functions of the area, in the hope that restrictions don't have to be enforced for as long as a result Border controls As a result of our position on a (remote-ish) island, border restriction were applied earlier, and haven't been ...


16

They're an island that tests and quarantines visitors from outside the island, traces contacts when infections occur, and implements mandatory public health measures like social distancing and capacity restrictions that vary in intensity according to the level of infections observed. There are lots of lay press articles about Australia, I'll include just a ...


15

What your government is proposing is a lot less than what was actually done in China. There, and perhaps that is still the case, large numbers of asymptomatic infected people were housed together in halls with only social separation between them, and masks to prevent others from infecting others. Your government is proposing to house the asymptomatic ...


14

I'd like to chime in with an explanation of what exactly is wrong with the calculation offered in the question, rather than just saying "it's a wrong formula". Understanding the "whys" of the fallacy is important. So I'll try to answer your question from the math point of view. TL;DR: The root cause of the fallacy is that recovery takes much longer that ...


14

Short answer: Sophie Trudeau's positive test may still mean 3 : 1 odds of not having contracted Covid-19, but the odds could also be far more towards having Covid-19. Justin Trudeau's negative test almost certainly means he was negative when tested. Of course, should Sophie be positive, that may have changed by now. Update: I found a web page of the FDA ...


14

Disease are officially named by the WHO, while viruses are by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The WHO has stated From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak ...


13

People in the control group will behave differently if they know they're in the control group. For example, it's not unreasonable to expect people will do less social distancing once they're vaccinated. This will increase their chances of being exposed to the virus.


12

The confusion exists because there are conflicting pronouncements from various authoritative sources but also conflicting pronouncements from the same authority. Covid-19 is a respiratory infection spread by droplets that can be aerosolized (nuclear droplets) in certain situations such as by flushing toilets or in certain medical procedures such as ...


12

Answering my own question since I believe I've found the answer. According to this source, The senior minister at the department, Mikhail Murashko, announced last week that a nationwide mass vaccination program is planned to begin in October. Murashko added that all expenses will be covered by the government. Therefore right now (September) the vaccine ...


11

Covid-19 is the result of a zoonotic outbreak from bats to an intermediate ( and unidentified host ) thence to humans. It is thought that bats don't suffer the disease themselves as they carry low levels of virus but the intermediate host modifies the virus, and amplifies it so that it vastly increases the amount of virus that can shed into the environment ...


11

Good question. A phase I trial normally has small numbers, is purely sized to test safety, and it would have no placebo arm. With side effects and antibodies are end points, and a placebo group, this would more often be called a combined phase I/II trial. The purpose of the placebo should be to compare the proportion of side effects and antibodies in the ...


10

I live in Guangdong, and this is what I've been seeing & reading about. Wuhan (city in Hubei) is where the outbreak supposedly began. And it went unnoticed for a while, which mean it was spreading locally more-so than it was spreading nationally/internationally. Near at the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, the government decided to quarantine all ...


10

This is something people have been studying since 1847 when Ignaz Semmelweis hypothesized that childbed fever was caused by physicians assisting at deliveries without cleaning their hands (sometimes coming directly from autopsies or cadaver dissections). Since then there have been thousands of experiments performed to find the best methods of hand ...


10

The paper itself describes how this is calculated (see the Methods section), but also see this Q&A at Biology.SE talking more broadly about how efficacy has been defined in these vaccine trials: https://biology.stackexchange.com/q/96941/27148 They define efficacy as the fraction of infected in the vaccine compared to placebo categories, normalized for ...


9

In the US, in order for a mask to be labeled "medical", that mask must be approved by the FDA as a medical device. With so many new people manufacturing masks coupled with the public demand for masks, it is likely not profitable to delay to seek FDA approval. The FDA also is unlikely to approve a new manufacturer's mask without ASTM testing. Thus, ...


9

The full details are quite complicated, but this nomenclature defines SARS-CoV-2 variants by a lineage depending on which variant they are descended from. A dynamic nomenclature proposal for SARS-CoV-2 to assist genomic epidemiology Andrew Rambaut, Edward C. Holmes, Verity Hill, Áine O’Toole, JT McCrone, Chris Ruis, Louis du Plessis, Oliver G. Pybus This ...


8

DIY Designs - most do not carry efficacy data claims Note that many of these are only respiratory protection designs. You also need to protect your eyes in a high risk situation eg. looking after an infected relative. Get protective goggles or your own glasses and attach a plastic shield eg. plastic pamphlet holder to the glasses for a full face shield. ...


8

Italy has 60 million people and around 70 thousand (known) cases. That's barely more than 1 in 1000 prevalence. For most countries it's less than this. So, you'd need a huge sample for a good estimate. And those tests/resources are better deployed where suspected cases are, for the time being. And sensible or not, I've heard this from a colleague, and it's ...


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